Celebrations as Ipswich D-Day veteran turns 100
PUBLISHED: 16:37 20 February 2016 | UPDATED: 16:39 20 February 2016
Arthur Scoffield has 12 grandchildren, 19 great grandchildren and three great great grandchildren.
An Ipswich D-Day veteran celebrated his 100th birthday this week – and was presented with a surprise birthday medal by the town’s mayor.
Arthur Scoffield, who has 12 grandchildren, 19 great grandchildren and three great great grandchildren, joined the Territorial Army’s Royal Engineers in 1933.
Town mayor Glen Chisholm joined Mr Scoffield at Wingate House on Wednesday, where they shared an evening of reflection with friends and family.
His daughter, Joan Beniston, said: “Dad had a wonderful time at his birthday party last night. He was absolutely thrilled to see everyone there and is only a little tired now.
“The mayor gave him a surprise birthday medal which made him very happy – we all love seeing him smile and he was very appreciative. It was a wonderful night.”
Born on 17 February 1916, the Ipswich man volunteered for bomb disposal in 1940, and was badly wounded by an exploding bomb in Liverpool. On D-Day, Mr Scoffield landed on Juno Beach.
And the father-of-five, who was married to his late wife Winnifred for 70 years, fought his way through France in 1944 where he assisted in the evacuation of Allied troops.
From there, he crossed the Rhine into Germany, entering the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp on the second day of liberation.
He continued as a sergeant in the Territorial Army and after the war he became a linesman with Eastern Electricity, before retiring in 1981.
Just last month Mr Scoffield became one of six Ipswich war veterans to receive the Legion d’Honneur, France’s highest honour.
The accolade was given to the group of men for their role in liberating the country during the Second World War. They received their medals in the post.
Robin Vickery, chairman of the Ipswich branch of the Royal British Legion, said at the time: “You won’t get a better example of heroes in one room.”